On Sunday, the Social Enterprise Week (SEW) is going to commence in the UAE. This first-of-its-kind annual event series will bring together industry innovators to catalyze social entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Since the Arab Awakening, social entrepreneurship has played a critical role in the MENA society. Dr. Iman Bibars, who is the Regional Director of Ashoka Arab World, finds social entrepreneurship as a remedy against implementation of power-craving sectarian policies. Bibars believes that dedicated social entrepreneurs can aptly meet the Arab society’s demand for food, freedom, and justice through their value-based grassroots approach.
During this time of renaissance in MENA, the SEW in the UAE aims to amplify the impact of social entrepreneurs and better support them in restructuring the economy. The four social enterprise elements that the SEW plans to promote, through events throughout the week, are education, networking, government involvement and success celebration.
The pre-launch SEW event will focus on technology application for social impact, and will take place on the evening of February 24th at the New York University Abu Dhabi. Additionally, the opening night on February 25th will bring forth the discussion of community impact with panelists from organizations such as the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Al Ahli Holding Group.
Other topics that will be covered at the SEW events include green enterprise and ethical food enterprise. The SEW is expected to end on March 2nd with the award ceremony for the Hult Prize’s Dubai Regional Final.
This pioneering event series is being supported by prominent organizations such as Forbes Middle East, Booz & Co., and the Capital Club at the Dubai Financial Centre. Several other organizations, such as HUB Dubai and Bokashi, are also associated to this event series through SEW’s SocEnt Fair.